Driving Without Windshield Wipers





Drinking in the late stages of alcoholism is a lot like driving without windshield wipers.  No matter how hard I tried to keep my eyes on the road it was only a matter of time when I would lose total control and kill myself.

I was a blackout drinker, time and events would often pass by and I would not even be aware of it.  It was extremely scary when I would wake not knowing the time of day and perhaps what did I say to that person or that person.  Looking at text messages and trying to connect the dots was a miserable feeling and ultimately was just another reason to drink.  As an alcoholic I did not need a reason to drink but my past gave me a reason to numb any surfacing feelings that would eventually arise.

Feelings were not something I wanted to feel; break ups were huge triggers for me to drink and self medicate.  I also drank because it was Tuesday (no reason necessary).  As an addict whose disease is progressive I had to get through everyday with some alcohol in my system just to stop the tremors.

I needed alcohol or pills to survive, literally I felt like death without substances coursing through my bloodstream.  I was living to die and every pill and sip of alcohol was my slow goodbye.

I did not want to die but I was not afraid to.  I was definitely afraid to live.  I hated myself for all the people I hurt from my past.  I continued to drive without the windshield wipers on.  In all actuality the last time out I nearly ended it all; I just wanted the pain to go away.

Today, I am 24 weeks, 5 days sober.  I have not had any mood altering drugs but continue to try and work on my emotional sobriety which seems to be much harder.  The body is a remarkable healer and I feel better than I have in a long time but the mind has some catching up to do.

I take my recovery one day at a time.  I can’t project into the future and I have to forgive myself for my past which is the hardest thing to do.  I can not let my past or what people say to me define me.  I let my actions speak for me today.

I have heard to take it one day at a time.  Sometimes for me I have to break it down simpler than that.  Sometimes I have to live one moment at a time.  I can see clearer when I stay in the present, it is a true gift indeed.

I have a healthy fear these days.  I had a very low bottom in early February that saw me laying in a hospital bed fighting for my life.  Every alcoholic/addict’s bottom is different.  I have bottomed out and am now willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober, today.

Turning those windshield wipers on as soon as that first rain drop hits the glass helps prepare me for life’s rain.

To Be Continued…



  1. Truly July 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Thank you Michael for sharing this. I relate in every single way. I too was a blackout drinker and actually I am blessed to even be alive and not in jail after driving in the state….. Without WIndshield Wipers. I love the analogy. It speaks volumes. Keep sharing my friend. You help me stay sober one day at a time. keep inspiring.
    much respect and love, Truly


  2. Tony July 28, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Great article, Mike. Love the analogy.


  3. Jess July 28, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    I am so proud if how far you have come. One moment at a time is exactly how us alcoholics/addicts survive daily life. I love your analogy, it hits home. You are an inspiration to me. (hugs)


  4. Linda Gajda July 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    May I say you totally took me by surprise with your ability to write perhaps the best article I have ever read about the life of addiction and recovery. Simple, plain, and to the point I was pulled in immediately and could feel not only your pain but mine as well. Bravo Michael


  5. Andrea Dadourian July 28, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    I am not an addict /alcoholic I am just your Mom who loves you and is proud of how far you have come and what you wrote is making me want to read more


  6. Kay August 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Michael, Wow! So proud of you, and so glad you are moving along in your recovery and working at forgiving yourself. You are worth it! 🙂


  7. Dani October 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I’m so proud of you. I love you.


  8. Alcoholic Man October 11, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    It’s advisable that you should be conscious from the stages of alcoholism, To ensure that you are able to craft strategies with an effective intervention for your beloved.


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